I am sure you all are tired of me and these threads but there is a reason for them. I have a friend in a really bad marriage. As a Catholic I don’t like the idea of divorce especially when children are involved but I feel suggesting it in this case is inappropriate. My friends wife constantly berates him in private, in front of their kid, and sometimes in public. She will complain about his salary and a million other things he “does wrong.” When he gets annoyed her she just says he can’t take a joke! Several times he has called me about ready to crack. They tried counseling but the shrink basically told him to try to understand her emotions as if his didn’t matter. Lots of his friends told him to just “suck it up” as some of the masochist guys in the world like to do. The fact of the matter is this guy went from heaven to hell because unfortunetly after he married the woman became a different person. He’d do anything for his kids and wife. I told him to consider a divorce because its the only option he has since no one else seems to want to help. Opinions on this?
Been there. Hurts.
‘Sucking it up’ is veeeery tough.
I hate to sound like an advocate for divorce, but in my case…it was the best thing in the world.
That’s a hard situation. We should never tear down our spouses…Please tell your friend that I’m praying for him.
As for you, you sound like a great friend. He’s lucky to have you to lean on.
I saved this site a while back for those in such need: catholictherapists.com/
It certainly seems as if his sanity and mental health is under threat. I agree, the fact that kids are involved is very sad. Do you think, therefore it would be damaging if he suggested living apart for awhile? Maybe if he suggested something like this, it would shock his wife into action. Also you say he has tried couples therapy, but maybe if he attended counselling sessions on his own he would feel clearer about his own emotions. Something I would recommend highly is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. It can be done individually or as a group session and involves teaching someone tools and techniques to deal with other people’s negativity i.e. aggressive boss, jealous colleagues etc. I feel divorce is a long way off yet as I REALLY don’t approve of it, but I would also consult a solicitor, regarding the kids, as it is extremely difficult for a father to be seen in a victimised role, he needs to be aware of his legal options.
It sounds like you’re really worried about your friend.
I found some psychologists online that specialize in men abused by women in this way. Too bad none in our area. Sadly, most people just don’t give a darn and think a guy has to handle his own problems. Then we wonder why some guys go nuts as society abandons them.
I am a really strong proponent of assessments and diagnosing possible problems that can be at the root of the situation.
Maybe a health issue (peri-menopause), or the result of being brought up by an alcoholic parent, narcissism…whatever it might be,a diagnosis can be very helpful to the person who is living with an abusive spouse. It also allows for the person with the problem to get the help they need to heal.
I suggest your friend find a reputable neuro-psych and get to the root of what might be going on.
Is your friend Catholic? If so, it might be beneficial for him to see a priest. If not, it wouldn’t hurt if he saw a “religious” based counselor on his own.
Unfortunately there are still people out there who don’t believe that a woman can be abusive to her husband and kids. Even if she is not yet directly abusing the kids, seeing how she treats their father does have an impact on them. I know - I grew up under an abusive mother. If she’s not willing to change, it may be the best solution for a bad situation. Prayers going up for your friend and his kids :gopray2:
(read all in the section on divorce)
Also then read:
1649 Yet there are some situations in which living together becomes practically impossible for a variety of reasons. In such cases the Church permits the physical separation of the couple and their living apart. The spouses do not cease to be husband and wife before God and so are not free to contract a new union. In this difficult situation, the best solution would be, if possible, reconciliation. The Christian community is called to help these persons live out their situation in a Christian manner and in fidelity to their marriage bond which remains indissoluble.
and note that even “civil divorce” while understanding one is still married – can still have very very very very heavy effects on the Children. Remember too that Canonized Saints and blesseds have become so partly in their sufferings from their spouse…(not saying such need be per se --but let us remember such)
She wasn’t like that (or so he says) before they got married. I didn’t know them 15 years ago. I think she just plain old gets kicks off of it because her woman-pals do the same thing to their husbands. They had a party one night and I was invited. I cannot even begin to tell you what the toxicity levels in the room were. Enough to want to make me vomit that’s for sure.
Yes they both are but she refuses to go to any more counselors. She thinks he just needs to try harder.
I think she may be doing this to force him to divorce her. She doesn’t want to be the one to break the family. She wants him to do it. She is probably not happy. I’ve been in a very similar situation.
Try harder at what?
If it was me, I would make an appt with a neuro-psych and spell it all out.
This way, he knows what he is up against and it will be helpful when deciding what to do next. It is also very empowering when you have a game plan.
I am sorry to hear about this - it can happen if we are not around people who value the sanctity of marriage.
At life. When he says he’s stressed out over work she tells him ignore it and things will get better. When he tells her the things her and her friends say about the husbands aggravate him she tells him he needs to lighten up and take a joke. She is always on his back to do things around the house while she only work a part time job. If things don’t get done because you know he works a FULL TIME job he gets blamed for “not helping out.” Mind you he does pick the kids up from school. What really gets him though is her disgusting friends who I met a few times. They are like a bunch of gossiping harpies that need muzzles.
What you’ve described is emotional abuse. It doesn’t do any good to tell an abuser that but it can help validate the person going through it that they are not crazy and it’s not them.
This is what I tell people if they are dealing with domestic violence, bullying (including workplace bullying), etc.: document. Write down what was said (exact quotes) the date, how long (was it a tirade or a quick, cheap shot), even time of day; there is usually a pattern of abuse. How long has it been going on? Has it escalated? Have the kids behaviors changed? How are they doing in school? Documentation can serve a lot of puposes but a big one is perspective; we can minimize things during a “honeymoon period” or blow things out of proportion when we are stressed by other stuff.
What did they learn in counseling? Did they learn healthy ways of communicating? Some people are naturally better at communicating than others, which means some are worse. How did his family get communicate? How does hers?
I don’t want you to answer these questionsl they are meant to provoke thought only.
Now with that said, Gabanzo has a point. She may be trying to force his hand, whether it be consciously or unconsciously. I wrote something about getting counseling but deleted it because I know it can be a crapshoot but someone objective can help him process all the things he’s going through in a systematic way.
The mean friends need to go…